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POLITICS: Bush Seeks $950 Million for Tsunami Aid

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posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 06:26 PM
President George Bush said he will ask Congress for $950 millions to support victims of the December Tsunami in Asia. This would increase the current contribution of $350 million by $600 million more. The increase will make the United States the largest contributer to Tsunami Aid relief, topping the $810 million pledged by Australia.
"We will use these resources to provide assistance and to work with the affected nations on rebuilding vital infrastructure that re-energizes economies and strengthens societies," Bush said in a statement.

Andrew Natsios, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the humanitarian pledge would be the government's "most generous and extensive" ever, surpassing the aid sent to Central American nations after Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

Part of the $950 million would replenish the $346 million already spent by USAID and the Pentagon in response to the disaster.

The money would pay for rebuilding infrastructure such as highways, bridges, schools and water distribution systems. It would help with housing construction and technical assistance to governments.

About $35 million would go to help develop an Indian Ocean early warning system that would alert citizens not only to earthquakes and tsunamis but to typhoons, and to improve the U.S. early warning system.

An undetermined amount of money could be found to defer some debt owed by countries in the tsunami zone if they request it, said Alan P. Larson, undersecretary of state for economic, business and agricultural affairs.

The request will be part the $80 billion being sought to cover continuing military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It's encouraging to see that the President of the United States has a big heart and wants to give more aid to the tsunami stricken regions of Asia, however combining it with the request for the $80 billion for military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan seems to be questionable. Perhaps by combining the two entirely separate efforts the President hopes to have his requests approved without too many question.

posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 06:37 PM
I read an interesting article today in the local paper. A minister had just returned from over there (he was there for a week in the last part of January). He was in Thailand. He states that there are mountains of donated items that the people really can't use. One thing in particular struck him that there were 1000's of hair dryers. He said, the people have electricity, but when there is nothing left around you and death in the air, fixing your hair is last on the list. So this heap of blow dryers are sitting there.

Here's what happened, according to this preacher, in Thailand. The King's nephew (I think that's right) died in the tsunami, so he immediately was personally touched by the horrific loss of life. From this personal experience, the king has been very generous to any and all who have lost their homes. BUT, there is this mass of humanity whose homes are still there. Now, these homes are gutted, entire sections missing, and by even the lowest standards we could come up with - uninhabitable. BUT, if you have a structure remaining, there is no assistance for you. According to this minister, no one is starving (I believe there are places even those with a "structure" can get sustenance, but that's it). And you have to remember, these people's livelihoods were washed away.

The minister's message was - they need MONEY. The typical worker salary in this area was $25 USD per week. He had about $3500 on him when they went over. At one point in their visit, they came to this one refugee camp, and for some reason he was exceptionally touched by the people in this camp. They gave each of the 50 families a week's pay ($25)...and the people were so overjoyed because this meant they could go buy the very basics that we take for granted - toothpaste, hygienic products, and items their children needed.

I hope the aide is being used appropriately. Because if these desperate people end up with 100,000 blow dryers, we're going to have to send computers so they can sell them on ebay!

[edit on 2-9-2005 by Valhall]

posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 06:44 PM
stuff like that always seems to happen after a disaster. People will send canned foods but no can openers.

I'm just glad to see that

About $35 million would go to help develop an Indian Ocean early warning system that would alert citizens not only to earthquakes and tsunamis but to typhoons, and to improve the U.S. early warning system

posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 07:03 PM
where is this money coming from?

posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 07:48 PM
Yeah, well if you let that money get mixed with pentagon money, it will fall into a black hole and never get anywhere near Asia unless Rumsfield can gain a foothold in some imperialistic way.

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